June 29, 1852

in Thoreau’s Journal:

How interesting the bud’s progress from the water to the air! So many of these stems are leaf-bearing, and so many flower-bearing. Then consider how defended these plants against drought, at the bottom of the water, at most their leaves and flowers floating on its surface. How much mud and water are required to support their vitality! It is pleasant to remember those quiet Sabbath mornings by remote stagnant rivers and ponds, when pure white water-lilies, just expanded, not yet infested by insects, float on the waveless water and perfume the atmosphere. Nature never appears more serene and innocent and fragrant. A hundred white lilies, open to the sun, rest on the surface smooth as oil amid their pads, while devil’s-needles are glancing over them.